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“Japan to Launch First Joint Missile Defense Exercise with U.S.”

“Japan to Launch First Joint Missile Defense Exercise with U.S.”

Posted July. 06, 2007 03:03,   


Japan will launch its first marine missile defense (MD) joint exercise with the U.S. Navy in January next year, said the Yomiuri Shimbun on July 5, a Japanese daily newspaper, quoting Japanese government officials.

Before the joint exercise, Japanese Navy Self-Defense Forces will test in December the MD functions of the Kongo, its Aegis destroyer. The newspaper reported that the joint exercise will involve Aegis destroyers that are MD-equipped from both countries.

The exercise aims to improve joint response capabilities of both naval forces to run a MD system.

The exercise is likely to be held on the East Sea, and will assume that North Korea is attacking with ballistic missiles. The plan is to respond to a North Korean attack using its mid-range Rodong missiles, which can reach all of Japan with a range of 1,300 km, by launching Standard Missiles (SM-3) from the Aegis destroyers. The joint exercise will be carried out on a computer, instead of using live shells.

When North Korea conducted a missile test on July 5 last year, the Japanese Ministry of Defense loaded SM-3s on the Kongo three months earlier than scheduled.

The Yomiuri Shimbun said that with the joint exercise, the MD system between Japan and the U.S. will be applied more seriously.